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Planning a Park Bag with Babies and/or Toddlers

Having a well thought out park bag may be one of the most important parts of

your Disney Vacation. You always want to be well prepared for anything thrown your way - a mid-day Orlando rain storm, a 120 minute wait for Slinky Dog or even a quick service mobile order that is taking a little bit longer than usual. First and foremost, keep your essentials on you! Whether that be a small fanny pack or cross body that can contain a wallet, sunglasses and a tiny pack of wet ones wipes, it makes it easier to not have to dig through a backpack for a credit card or ID.

When traveling with little ones, I always carry a full sized backpack that is water resistant, making it easy to just wipe clean after being put down on the ground or when a kiddo touches it after eating a delicious yet messy Mickey Bar. Plus, just remember, there's no such thing as packing too many diapers/wipes, enough sunscreen and changes of clothes (even if your kids aren’t in diapers, wipes will still come in handy especially for wiping hands and faces after ice cream.) A wet bag or gallon size Ziploc is a quick and easy way to store extra clothes/diapers in a park bag and they then come in handy in the event of some messy clothes or wet clothes arise due to the lovely Florida mid-afternoon rain storms, or even a snack you didn’t quite finish that you want to save for later! 

Having some extra snacks will always come in handy! Being able to give a kiddo a quick snack makes all the difference in how your day will go while they’re waiting - I find in my case more often than not, this saves a dreaded melt down because they’re hungry. Some easy snacks to bring to the parks are gummies (fruit snacks/gummy bears), applesauce pouches, individual bags of teddy grahams, goldfish and granola bars. They all are individually wrapped and can be eaten easily on the go. Pro Tip: If you're flying don’t underestimate the power of an Instacart or Amazon Fresh delivery for snacks and any items you might’ve forgotten!

When it comes to the Florida heat, it's always nice to have a portable fan or two in your park bag! A small rechargeable octopus stroller fan that can easily hook onto strollers is a quick and easy solution to a hot Florida day (it will hook onto your wrist or anything for that matter). A huge perk of these is that they are rechargeable with your portable charger, so if it's a hot day or you don’t quite think about recharging it the day before it can easily be recharged on the go! Speaking of the Florida Heat - with the Florida heat comes the Florida rain. Avoid buying the 15 dollar poncho and buy a whole pack of disposable ponchos from Amazon before you travel. This lets you put a few in your park bag and toss them as you use them instead of carrying a wet poncho that never manages to fit back into its carrying bag while wet. 

Probably the most important item in any park bag is a portable charger! Between mobile ordering, checking wait times and making Genie+ selections, it’s important to keep your phone charged. As convenient as a Fuel Rod is - you can interchange them at most resorts and at all the parks, they cost $30 initially - the convenience can’t beat a portable charger with a built-in wall charger, a built-in iPhone cord and a built- in USB-C! These make it so you don’t need to worry about forgetting an iPhone cord or portable fan cord, and in the rare event that your portable charge dies, the entire charger can easily be plugged into an outlet to charge. 

When packing your park bag, think about if you are planning on participating in character or Cast Member interactions or even collecting pressed pennies. I always carry an Autograph Book or two in my backpack along with a few pens for the characters to sign with and a pressed penny collectors book. These are inexpensive souvenirs that kids love to collect and there are so many different pressed pennies all over the Parks and Resorts to collect. Keeping a Ziploc bag full of trading pins is also a great idea if you plan on pin trading. Pin trading is a FREE park and hotel activity anyone can participate in while exploring the parks and hotels. You will encounter lots of shops, restaurants, even various cast members that will have pin boards and lanyards to trade with you.

For the grand finale, a small coloring book and crayons or LCD Writing Pad are an easy compact way to entertain kiddos. These are a total game changer, there is no mess, nothing extra to bring and they entertain kids for hours. When traveling with older kids some playing cards or uno cards could easily fit in a park bag as well. We all know lines can be long and sometimes there’s a long wait for a show or even while waiting for your mobile order to be ready. Having small activities ready to go help occupy kids while only taking up a tiny bit of space. 

An added bonus 

If you are bringing a stroller or renting a stroller it's a great idea to invest in a “mommy hook” otherwise known as a large D ring, along with a rain cover. You never know when you’ll be stuck in the Florida rain. A mommy hook or D ring allows for you to hook hats, shopping bags, hanging water bottles and almost anything you can think of to your stroller. D rings double as a bus hack, they allow you to easily remove the D ring from the stroller with all of your items attached when it is time to fold down the stroller to get on the bus, instead of struggling to pull everything out of the stroller and carry each individual thing onto the bus!

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